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Today's walkitcornwall quote

  "Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time." — Steven Wright

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Of course Paul’s deep knowledge of the region, its flora and its beauties – and not to forget his patience and his humor – have made me feel like it all was too short.  As a result, my eyes and my brain are full of new images and new knowledge.

– Jean-Claude B, Switzerland.


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Walking blog: The philosophy of walking

Local walks in Cornwall around Mawnan and Constantine

lone tree near penwarne

We often overlook what is closest to us, whether physically in our landscape or personally in our relationships with others. Accordingly, local walks are often more revealing than ones that are taken far from home. We have expectations that the further we travel and the more exotic we encounter and the more dramatic the terrain, then the more exciting and majestic the views will be. The point is do we need to understand what is further away and out of our local sphere to appreciate what we have, who we are and what we are part of?

Local walks can surprise you and give meaning to our often frenetic and globally interconnected lives. The landscape we walk over are often areas where generations of local people have spent an inordinate amount of time caring, working and tending to the land. I'm talking farmers. They understand a land's rhythms and its history.To have knowledge of the local geology, weather and history is to understand the soil and its potential.

Henry Thoreau talking about walking in local and what would appear to be familiar terrotory said "Two or three hours' walking will carry me to as strange a country as I expect ever to see. A single farmhouse which I had not seen before is sometimes as good as the dominions of the King of Dahomey. There is in fact a sort of harmony discoverable between the capabilities of the landscape within a circle of ten miles' radius, or the limits of an afternoon walk, and the threescore years and ten of human life. It will never become quite familiar to you".country lane near penwarne

It is a call that reminds me to open my eyes and not take where I am walking for granted. To be aware always whilst walking of what is within my periphery of vision. Walking is about awareness through all our senses; the smells, the sounds, the wealth of colours that change daily. It is to find where all paths go to and to travel back and forth over them; to see from all angles the fields and horizons. It often links up areas that you know in patches to make a larger area in your mind. Roads that have often been the only way of travelling over this particualr area become small arteries in the body of the landscape. Through more and more walking on local paths the mind map connects places that were previously islands or were only linked by roads.

Am I the only one who gets excited when driving on the roads and sees a green footpath sign? I have discovered the end of a trail; ot the beginning of one; or even the link in a chain of a very large walk. It is a challenge to go and see where it ends up and the possibilities of new walks, of making the network of all the 2800 miles of Cornwall's path just that little bit more smaller and more connected in my mind. It is an affirmation of the continuity of history of the local landscape, that it is here to be used, it is linked to the outside world of networks of paths and of where I will be travelling in the future.

In these uncertain times we all need a certainty that there is a local history, that there are vistas to be seen, to challenge us and that we all haveour independence of thought to choose where we go. It is a metaphor for life and a satisfying one that we are not pawns to things in life outside our influence. We can decide which way to go as there are many choices. We just have to get out there and see where they are and link them all up.

primroses april 2012dry tracks across parched farmlandtwitter followers perhaps

anna maria creek near bv